Taieri River

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Taieri River
Taieri River - Otago.jpg
The Taieri River at Claggans, Otago
Origin Lammerlaw Ranges
Mouth Pacific Ocean
Basin countries New Zealand
Length 200 km
Mouth elevation 0 m
The Taieri River system

The Taieri River is the fourth-longest river in New Zealand and is located in Otago in the South Island. Rising in the Lammerlaw ranges, it initially flows north, then east around the Rock and Pillar range before turning southeast, reaching the sea 30 km south of Dunedin.

The upper reaches meander in a series of convoluted loops across a floodplain near Paerau before running through two small hydroelectric power stations before Patearoa in the Maniototo. The Taieri then arcs through almost 180 degrees, entering a broad glacial valley the Strath-Taieri, surrounded by rugged hill ranges. Immediately downstream the river has cut a steep-sided declivity — the Taieri Gorge. This is known for the Taieri Gorge Railway, which follows a route into Central Otago through it. In the Taieri's lower reaches there is a broad floodplain (the Taieri Plains) containing much of Otago's most fertile farmland. The river then flows through the lower Taieri Gorge to the Pacific Ocean at Taieri Mouth. Taieri Island lies in the Pacific Ocean several hundred metres from the mouth of the river.

The Taieri is 200 km long of which the last 20 km are navigable. Towns along the river include Middlemarch, Outram, Mosgiel, Henley and Taieri Mouth. Its major tributary is the Waipori River, which meets the Taieri near Henley on the Taieri Plains.

The name "Taieri" is thought to come from the Māori word taiari meaning "spring tide".

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Coordinates: 46°03′S 170°11′E / 46.050°S 170.183°E / -46.050; 170.183